Membrane Interactions of a Novel Viral Enterotoxin: Rotavirus Nonstructural Glycoprotein NSP4 † Academic Article uri icon


  • The rotavirus enterotoxin, NSP4, is a novel secretory agonist that also plays a role in the unique rotavirus morphogenesis that involves a transient budding of newly made immature viral particles into the endoplasmic reticulum. NSP4 and an active peptide corresponding to NSP4 residues 114 to 135 (NSP4(114-135)) mobilize intracellular calcium and induce secretory chloride currents when added exogenously to intestinal cells or mucosa. Membrane-NSP4 interactions may contribute to these alterations; however, details of a lipid-binding domain are unresolved. Therefore, circular dichroism was used to determine (i) the interaction(s) of NSP4 and NSP4(114-135) with model membranes, (ii) the conformational changes elicited in NSP4 upon interacting with membranes, (iii) if NSP4(114-135) is a membrane interacting domain, and (iv) the molar dissociation constant (K(d)) of NSP4(114-135) with defined lipid vesicles. Circular dichroism revealed for the first time that NSP4 and NSP4(114-135) undergo secondary structural changes upon interaction with membrane vesicles. This interaction was highly dependent on both the membrane surface curvature and the lipid composition. NSP4 and NSP4(114-135) preferentially interacted with highly curved, small unilamellar vesicle membranes (SUV), but significantly less with low-curvature, large unilamellar vesicle membranes (LUV). Binding to SUV, but not LUV, was greatly enhanced by negatively charged phospholipids. Increasing the SUV cholesterol content, concomitant with the presence of negatively charged phospholipids, further potentiated the interaction of NSP4(114-135) with the SUV membrane. The K(d) of NSP4(114-135) was determined as well as partitioning of NSP4(114-135) with SUVs in a filtration-binding assay. These data confirmed NSP4 and its active peptide interact with model membranes that mimic caveolae.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, H., Schroeder, F., Zeng, C., Estes, M. K., Schoer, J. K., & Ball, J. M.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Huang, H||Schroeder, F||Zeng, C||Estes, MK||Schoer, JK||Ball, JM

publication date

  • April 2001